Monte Morris reflects on trip overseas

Besides the awful food that he could hardly stomach, Monte Morris gave rave reviews of his recent trip to France on Wednesday night after his YMCA Capital City League summer debut.

Morris, who recently participated in the Tourcoing Elite World Championships while representing the USA, knew exactly what his basketball objectives were before crossing the pond. That’s because Fred Hoiberg spelled them out to him. 

“Hoiberg told me in his office before the tournament that this time coming up, I will be on the ball as much as DeAndre (Kane) was,” Morris said. “He said he needs me to look for my shot also. Out here, I am trying to look for my shot more than I did last year.”

Morris, who was still suffering from jetlag, scored 29 points in his Capital City League debut.

*** MORE FROM THE CCL: Matt Thomas apologizes for recent arrest *** 

During his time in France, he essentially ran the show for Team USA. 

“I was the only true point guard on the roster so I always had to come back to the ball,” Morris said. “Playing with that 24-second shot clock, it got me used to playing on the ball more rather than off the ball. That experience is what they wanted me to go over there for to get back to being a leader and a natural point guard. I feel like it helped big time.”

Elsewhere on the Monte Morris front, the sophomore has gained 22 pounds since stepping on campus almost exactly a year ago at this time. On June 15 last year, Morris weighed exactly 150 pounds. Now, he is up to 172. 

“It has helped me a lot. I feel like I won’t gain much more weight because this is my frame but I can get a lot stronger,” Morris said. “I know that I probably am not going to make a whole bunch of my shots with my legs tired so I need to know how to finish at the rim.”

Morris averaged 6.8 points and 3.7 assists per game as a freshman at Iowa State. He surprisingly made 41 percent of his 3-point attempts during his rookie campaign too.